PLAINVILLE — Billy White, Peter Danko and Peter Mulkerrins solved the layout at Wentworth Hills CC Friday, matching or bettering par on the course in the opening round of the 61st annual Attleboro Area Golf Association Open.

There will be, at least, 18 more holes to be contested Saturday at Heather Hill CC for the second round of the Open. But whether hurricanes “Fred” and “Henri” ultimately are declared this weekend’s champions remains to be determined.

Thursday’s first round of the AAGA Open at Foxborough CC was canceled due to the remnants of Tropical Storm “Fred” as it threaded its way through New England. There is a strong possibility that Hurricane “Henri” will wash away the scheduled final round of the tournament Sunday at Norton CC.

This year’s event could very well become a 36-hole tournament. Depending on U.S. Weather Service observations and forecasts and projected playing conditions, it also might become a 45-hole tournament with nine holes being played Sunday in Norton.

At the moment, White, the 2007 AAGA Open champion, and Danko, the reigning club champion at Norton CC, share the top spot on the leaderboard with 1-under-par scores of 70 at Wentworth Hills. A third Norton CC member, Peter Mulkerrins, is just one shot away, having inked an even-par 71.

The chance for a championship is so well contested that there are 18 players within five shots of the lead.

Just three shots off the pace, at 2-over-par 73 are Shawn Seybert of Attleboro (10 pars, three birdies) and two-time runner-up Jared Winiarzof Norton(12 pars, three birdies).

Standing at 3-over-par 74 are a half-dozen players — Steve Finocchi (three birdies), Matt Wasserman (two birdies, one eagle), Joe O’Malley (three birdies), Dan Tinkham (five birdies), Kevin Willwerth (four birdies) and Ben Sapovits (three birdies).

Five shots back at 4-over-par 75 are defending champion Brett Chatfield, 1987 AAGA Open champion Neal Boyer, 2018 AAGA Open titlist Kolby Simmons, AAGA Junior Tournament champion Dan Brady, Mansfield High product Brian See, King Philip High product Mike Matheson, Xaverian High product Spencer Dumas, Kyle Browne, Ryan McGovern and the pride of the Norton CC, David Yurek.

“I left some shots out there,” White said of his round which included 11 pars at five birdies — at No. 1 (4-footer), No. 2 (10-footer), and No. 6 (35-footer), finishing the frontside at 3-under-par 32. He drilled in a 40-foot birdie putt at No. 17 too. Were it not for double bogeys at No. 10 and No. 18, White could have been in the mid-60’s.

“This course was soft with all of the rain, you could throw it right at the hole,” White said of attacking Wentworth Hills in his first round on the Plainville course this season. “There were a couple of putts that could have fallen, I played well. t was a very score-able course if you kept your ball in play. Right now, I’m comfortable with my game.”

The 29-year-old Danko beat White en route to the Norton CC club title during the semifinals. Danko was strong and solid from tee to green, having 11 pars and four birdies (all within 12-feet at No. 1, 12, 15, 17) in his sub-par round. “I played way more conservative, I wanted to keep my ball in the fairway. I usually hit driver and challenge the course, but I hit irons to stay out of trouble.”

The former UMass Dartmouth Corsair has had four top 10 AAGA finishes — No. 8 in 2020, No. 7 in both 2019 and 2015 and No. 6 in 2013).

“I played well, I was happy with the round — no double bogeys and I didn’t lose a ball,” Danko said. “ I lipped out a fair amount of putts too, so I could have been in the 60’s.”

The 39-year-old Mulkerrins (12 pars, three birdies at No. 5, 7 and 12) was also sharp, hitting 14 greens in regulation, playing the front side at even par and finishing his round with six straight pars. The tight fairways have always been tests for him.

“It’s target golf, but I usually play decent here,” Mulkerrins said.

“I hit a lot of drivers, I hit it well, so it wasn’t too much of a question,” Mulkerrins said of his even par scorecard. “I’m going after it. I had a lot of birdie putts inside of 10 feet that I just didn’t make. I really played well, I could have been lower.”

Chatfield, the defending AAGA Open champion out of Wannamoisett CC, would have been with that trio as well were it not for a double bogey at No. 3 and finishing his round with three consecutive bogeys.

“I was up and down all day,” Chatfield said. “There were a lot of tricky pins out there too and the course is tight.”

Chatfield hit three balls into hazards and three-putted the No. 4 hole.

“Like any round, you don’t want to get big numbers,” he said “For myself and a lot of guys, we’re all close, so you just have to see what happens in the next round.”

Attleboro Area Golf Association 61st Annual Open Championship Tournament

First round played at the par-71, 6,096-yard Wentworth Hills CC, Plainville

Scores and relation to par

Billy White 32-38-- 70 -1

Peter Danko 35-35--70 -1

Peter Mulkerrins 35-36--71 E

Shawn Seybert 37-36--73 +2

Jared Winiarz 36-37--73 +2

Ben Sapovits 36-38--74 +3

Kevin Willwerth 37-37--74 +3

Dan Tinkham 37-37--74 +3

Joe O'Malley 34-40--74 +3

Steve Finocchi 37-37--74 +3

Matt Wasserman 38-36--74 +3

Neal Boyer 39-36--75 +4

Brett Chatfield 38-37--75 +4

Brian See 37-38--75 +4

Mike Matheson 38-37--75 +4

Kyle Browne 39-36--75 +4

Spencer Dumas 39-36--75 +4

Ryan McGovern 38-37--75 +4

David Yurek 37-38--75 +4

Kolby Simmons 39-36--75 +4

Dan Brady 37-38--75 +4

Ben Grant 39-37--76 +5

Thor VanVaerenwyck 38-38--76 +5

Joe Oram, Jr. 38-38--76 +5

Mike Philipp 37-39--76 +5

Jason Hindman 37-39--76 +5

Geoff Burgess 34-42--76 +5

Dave Turgeon 36-41--77 +6

Jim Dickinson 37-41--78 +7

Dan Bukoff 41-37--78 +7

Chad Bearce 38-40--78 +7

Sean McHugh 36-42--78 +7

Brendan Raymond 40-38--78 +7

Chris Hanson 40-48--78 +7

Kyle Potter 41-37--78 +7

Ross Salotto 39-39--78 +7

Brian Kronmiller 39-40--79 +8

Will Leonard 40-39--79 +8

Brandon Goold 38-41--79 +8

Evan Dean 37-43--80 +9

Jillian Barend 40-40--80 +9

Darian Calverly 39-41--80 +9

Derek Johnson 43-38--81 +10

Kris Carrier 37-44--81 +10

Justin Guimond 41-40--81 +10

Cian Goulet 44-37--81 +10

Anthony Manganaro 36-45--81 +10

Paul Kearns 40-41--82 +11

Joe Oram, Sr. 42-40--82 +11

Scott Congdon 40-42--82 +11

Jake Gaskin 41-41--82 +11

Paul Shannon 46-36--82 +11

Bert Bouley 40-43--83 +12

Dean Santangelo 42-41--83 +12

Rich Bracker 42-41--83 +12

Greg Wiens 39-44--83 +12

Mike Nyhan 40-43--83 +12

Charlie Baughan 46-37--83 +12

Brad Gillen 41-42--83 +12

Dan Mills 41-43--84 +13

Roger Bousquet 44-40--84 +13

Angel MacLeod 44-41--85 +14

Matt Moreshead 38-47--85 +14

David Morrill 45-40-85 +14

Kevin Brady 45-40--85 +14

Scott King 43-42--85 +14

Rob Theriault 39-47--76 +15

Kevan Higgins 43-43--86 +15

Jim Kannally 42-44--86 +15

Andrew Belastock 40-46--86 +15

Bryan Sapovits 47-40--87 +16

Dylan Quinn 38-49--87 +16

Steve Dow 43-45--88 +17

Nate Ihley 43-45--88 +17

Justin Ciombor 41-47--88 +17

Jay Sapovits 41-47--88 +17

Cody Nieratko 43-45--88 +17

Myles Sigman 41-47--88 +17

Mark Troiano 43-46--89 +18

Shawn Gaskin 49-40--89 +18

Ben Dubuc 47-43--90 +19

Tony Shaw 46-44--90 +19

James Graham 48-43--91 +20

Tim Murphy 48-43--91 +20

Drew Payson 46-46--92 _21

Kyle DelSignore 44-49--93 +22

Peter Gobis may be reached at 508-236-0375

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